Thursday, 2 April 2015

A Night At The Opera.... In The Cinema...

Oh. Wow. I enjoyed that "Mahagonny" at our local cinema. The rural me can now sample opera on a scale larger than a dvd/telly combo. Great.
Live broadcast via cinema screen is a hybrid beast of an experience. We're not sitting in our seats peering at a stage with a single viewpoint. Here we get edited and interposed shots... like a film.... close-ups, long shots, cuts. It is all very jolly. And we do get interviews and such during the Opera House interval.
To add to the surreal quality of last night's relay broadcast.... Covent Garden had been hit by the electrical fire in Holborn. Fortunately the stage and auditorium were powered from another source.... so we got our show... but the punters at The Garden were in darkness elsewhere in the theatre, I believe. Bottles of water their only interval drinks. No nice bar snacks. In Penzance, popcorn and ice-cream be still in plentiful supply.

The production (and I had been a little uncertain before seeing it) is successful. Brilliant video projection on a great cargo-container set. (For do we not  live in a Mahagonnesque world with people smuggled in cargo containers, slaving in cargo containers and living in cargo containers?) And wonderful performances. The great Willard WhiteKurt Streit who as Jimmy McIntyre does a powerful job (both voice and acting) in a role which becomes very grueling by the end. And Christine Rice is no slouch in the theatricals either. The Old Man do say... she needs to match Streit's Jimmy McIntyre punch for punch.... and she does. I also greatly like Peter Hoare's performance as chain-smoking, money-man, Fatty. The production is much more powerful than my listening of the radio broadcast led me to believe. A dark, stark, ironic piece anyway, this version emphasises its timely link to a world where money and consumption are prerequisite values.... and ... an Easter equation for Jimmy's trial and martyrdom. I just don't think that poor Jimmy will be making a re-appearing act soon.

So. Opera at the local picture-house has been sampled and considered a success in this household. Trouble is.... The Old Man have noticed that Rossini's "Guillaume Tell" will be on offer as well. It's four hours long!
And me, I am not a Rossini fan. I had a frightening encounter with "Comte Ory" once that led me to extreme self-brutalising in order to stave off coma. And I had to ditch The Old Man in the interval and run off home...... Oh surely he cannot be serious.

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